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Chapter 8 : Kisses
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Hermione made a slight noise in her sleep and pressed harder up against him. Ron smiled and kissed the top of her head. This could be their last few moments of safety, and still, he felt the stress of what was to come settling upon him. "If we get through this alive, Hermione," he murmured, not even sure if she was awake to hear him. "I'm going to ask you to marry me."
Apparently, she was awake.
Ron's entire face turned crimson. "I thought you were asleep," he said sheepishly.
"I was," said Hermione groggily. "Until you started mumbling in my ear." She looked at him, still bleary-eyed. "What were you saying?"
"Uh, nothing,"said Ron quickly. "Just that we should probably get ready to go."
Hermione nodded slightly and sat up in his bed. "Is Harry still asleep?" she asked.
"Yeah, I think so," muttered Ron. "Why?"
Hermione smiled and leaned over, kissing him gently. Ron brought up his hands to cup her face, pulling her on top of him. "Maybe this isn't the time," she whispered, after Ron had slid his hand up her shirt.
"You can't do that to me," Ron groaned, not taking away his hand.
Hermione smiled and kissed him again, more passionately this time, making it obvious that she had changed her mind.
It was at that point, that Harry woke up, sitting straight up. He grabbed his glasses, forgetting for a moment where he was, and noticed Ron and Hermione, who were now staring at him. And Ron had still not removed his hand.
"You've got to be kidding me," groaned Harry, looking away as quickly as he could. "Did you guys actually start that while I was still in here?"
"Er...no," said Ron feebly.
"Shall we just go then?" said Hermione, standing up quickly and smoothing her hair. "I'm sorry, Harry. We just got carried away."
"Nerves and all," finished Ron, earning him a smack on the arm from Hermione.
Harry rolled his eyes and just headed out of the room, trailed by his very embarrassed friends.
"You're sure you've got everything?" said Mrs. Weasley, hugging Harry for the fifth time. "Please be careful." She moved on to her youngest son again. "Do be careful."
Ginny, Neville, and Luna had come down, deciding that they would pretend that they had put the idea of coming with them out of their minds. Ginny watched Harry hug Remus. He turned and met her eyes. "Goodbye, Harry," she said, rather tonelessly. "Be careful."
She hugged him, and he could smell her perfume, taking it in for a moment, before letting go.
When it became apparent that they were finally leaving, Mrs. Weasley began to sob openly. Unfortunately, at that point, she was hugging Hermione for the last time and it took Mr. Weasley to pry her off of the young girl. "We'll be back, Mrs. Weasley," she said, kissing the sobbing woman on the cheek.
"Goodbye, everyone," said Harry, preparing to leave the only place he could ever have called home.
He turned and opened the front door and, followed by Ron and then Hermione, they made their way out.
The rest of the afternoon was fairly quiet. Neville, Ginny, and Luna were shut up in their room, preparing for their departure tomorrow. Mrs. Weasley and her husband were shut up for the day, trying to deal with their worry. The twins seemed to decide to take advantage of the quiet to fill it with loud explosions of inventions. That left Agnes, Remus, Elle, and Tonks in the living room, sitting in silence. Tonks and Remus were snuggled together on the couch, while Elle sat reading a book. It was only Agnes, however, who seemed to notice that her mother had not turned a page in fifteen minutes.
I need to do something, she thought. She's going to go insane.
"Hey, Tonks," she said suddenly. "I was wondering if I could talk to you for a minute?"
Her mother glanced sharply at her, as if to say, "What are you doing?"
"Sure thing, Agnes," said Tonks, with a smile.
"Thanks," said Agnes, shooting her mother a look and leading Tonks out of the room.
"What did you want to talk about?" asked Tonks amiably, once she and Agnes were in the kitchen. "Some fantastic secret that Remus and your mother can't hear?"
The only way I can buy my mom time is to..."Well, there's this guy," started Agnes.
"Ah," said Tonks knowingly. "Any guy that I know?" Agnes couldn't help but smile. "Any red-haired guy who happens to have a twin brother?"
"Alright," giggled Agnes. "Is it that obvious?"
"A bit," said Tonks, winking. "Anyway, so this guy..."
"What do I do?" asked Agnes, blushing. "My mom doesn't know anything about anything, so I couldn't have asked her."
"You should try telling him," said Tonks encouragingly.
"I can't do that!" said Agnes.
"Sure, you can," said Tonks. "And I think that you'll get very good results from it."
Just then, there were footsteps from the stairs and a red-head appeared in the doorway. "Fred!" exclaimed Agnes, before she'd had a good look at the boy's face.
"Nope. George," he said, grinning at her. "Have you seen my mum anywhere?"
"I can go get her for you," said Agnes, after receiving a nudge from Tonks under the table. "I was, um, I was just going upstairs."
"Don't bother," said George. "I'll just go-"
"Hey, George," interrupted Tonks. "I was just going to make a cup of tea. Care to join me?"
"Uh, I suppose so," said George, looking fairly confused.
"I'll just get your mum then," said Agnes, heading upstairs.
There was a very long moment of silence after Agnes and Tonks left the room.
"What was that all about?" asked Remus quietly.
"I think you know," mumbled Elle.
"She should stay out of this," muttered Remus.
"She just want what every other kid has," said Elle.
"Well, guess what, Elle," snapped Remus. "Not every other kid has two parents. She's lucky to have one."
Elle stared at him for a moment before leaping up off her chair and rushing towards the door. "No, Elle, don't," said Remus, reaching out and grabbing her arm. He swung her towards him, holding her closely to prevent her from trying to get away again. "I'm sorry."
"What difference does it make?" said Elle softly, looking down.
Remus lifted her chin, forcing her to look him in the eye. "I never meant for any of this to happen, Elle," he said.
"How many times are you going to say that?" she asked, tears springing to her eyes.
"It has to be over for good, Elle," he whispered, as unwillingly, he moved closer to her, drawing her lips toward his.
Suddenly, he couldn't resist any more and pressed his lips hungrily to hers. He slipped deep inside that kiss. There was so much more passion in Elle's kiss. So much that he had been longing for.
Just then, the door from the kitchen swung open. Remus pushed Elle away just in time for seconds later Mrs. Weasley entered the room. She stopped in her tracks, glancing at their guilty faces. "Are you alright, Remus?" she asked suspiciously. "You look a bit flushed."
"Yes," he said quickly. "It's just the summer heat, I suppose."
"I came in to see if the two of you would like a cup of tea?" she said. "Your fiancee has just put the kettle on."
"Yes, of course," he said, moving towards the door.
"Elle, would you like one?" asked Mrs. Weasley.
"No," said Elle, almost inaudibly and not taking her eyes off of Remus. "I'll stay here."
Agnes was standing outside of the twin's bedroom door, feeling terribly nervous. She never took chances. And yet, here she was.
Before she had completely talked herself out of it, she knocked on the door.
There was a bit of stumbling and then the door swung open, as Fred said, "For the last time, Neville, you don't have to knock."
He stopped and stared for a moment, before slamming the door in her face. Agnes was not offended however, as she was far too shocked to care. Fred had answered the door in nothing but his boxers. "Just a minute!" he called from behind the door.
And in less then two minutes, he had opened the door again. "Sorry about that," said Fred, looking more than a bit embarrassed. "Did you want to come in?"
He moved aside, holding the door open for Agnes. The room was an absolute pit. Agnes had to move a pile of rubber chickens in order to sit on the bed. "So what's up?" asked Fred, leaning against the wall.
"I wanted to talk to you," said Agnes, so quietly that Fred could barely hear her.
He crossed the room and sat next to her on the bed. "You might want to speak up a bit," he said, grinning at her.
"I, um, I have to tell you something," whispered Agnes.
"What?" asked Fred, knowing full well what that 'something' must be.
"I-" Agnes tried to say what she felt but no words came out.
And after that brief moment, she didn't have a chance to. Because at that moment, Fred Weasley kissed her.
Later that evening, Agnes lay awake in bed with a happy smile on her face. She did feel fairly guilty about Tonks though, seeing as how it was she who had given Agnes courage to talk to Fred. And if hadn't been for that, she never would have been kissed that evening.
But Tonks was going to marry the one man who could make her mother happy again. Tonks was young. She would find another love, but Elle had waited sixteen years.
And knowing her mother, she would probably wait the rest of her life.
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